Congratulations! Your acquisition strategy is paying off and your subscriber list steadily growing. Now the real work begins during the all-important onboarding phase. It's time to establish expectations for the relationship, reinforce that the subscriber's trust is well placed, and deliver timely, personalized content.

As we covered in yesterday's post-Customer Onboarding Strategies for Financial Services-effective customer onboarding requires a well-defined strategy. Your actions and messaging in the Drivers you place, the calls to action you provide, and the Destination site content you present must be driven by data. You need to leverage what you've observed about each customer's behavior, and supplement with third-party information from their unique profile. It is a symbiotic orchestration of content, driven by behavior and predictive content, across all of your channels that sets the stage for the context of the ongoing Dialogue.

Next, let's take a closer look at what FSI marketers can do to ensure every customer receives a great welcoming experience.

Data Drives Personalization

There are many technical considerations to sending a welcome series once subscribers have opted in to receive communications. However, it should not be overwhelming. The item that should be top of mind is your data. Where is it, how do you get access to it, and are you reliant on IT?

The goal is self service. Ideally you want to have all your data in one location so that creating segments is easy. This saves time and empowers you to get creative with segmentation, personalization, and dynamic content. It also makes A/B testing far simpler. Through continuous trial and error, you can refine messaging and drive engagement.

Content is Always King

Of course you wouldn't send the same content to every subscriber, right? Once again, data is the key.

A simple welcome email example-Drive personalization from you data fields or attributes like: Dear <First Name>, your accounts with us include <Account 1, Account 2, and Account 3>, and we welcome you to stop by <Nearest Branch> to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

Then, supplement this data with dynamic content. Did they recently look at 15-year mortgages on your website? Have they explored your wealth management services?

You might also consider leveraging this browsing data to make "next best recommendations" of content on their next website. Perhaps you deliver the mortgage shoppers content that enables them to easily compare different offers, and invite the would-be investors to meet your advisory team.

Finally, if an individual takes an action--downloads a PDF, views a video, or fills out a form--use this as an opportunity to engage during the welcome series. Thank them for their interest, or perhaps ask them to complete a survey. Also, be sure to capture the activity as part of their profile. It will enable you to further segment subscribers and deliver additional personalization going forward.

Get the Most from the Call to Action

Every call to action (CTA) should be trackable. For example, be sure to pass the campaign or email ID, along with the subscriber ID or customer ID, to any website, landing page, microsite or PURL. This allows you to know which links are performing and what your subscribers or customers are doing on your website or landing page.

Additionally, any forms, surveys, carts, etc. should be tied into your marketing data. By consolidating, the information can be used for future communications. Remember, you will likely get high open rates during an onboarding or welcome series-you want to make sure you are collecting all the rich data you can for future communications. The more information you can gather about your subscribers during the onboarding process, the better you will be able to cross sell, engage and retain your customers.

Connect the Dots for FSI Success

In summary, it is all about connecting the dots from a data perspective as you onboard your new subscribers. This will set you up for future success in your other outbound marketing series. The more connected you are from the start from a data perspective (website, landing pages, surveys, preference center, e-commerce, call center, etc.) the more success you will have with all your communications.

Technical success is having a centralized data repository that is constantly fed by the data generated. The end result is highly personalized communications that have high open rates and high conversions.

More Digital Marketing Tips for Financial Services

Interested in learning more? See how digital marketing can provide 1-to-1 experiences throughout the financial services customer lifecycle. Sign up for Any Journey is Possible, and you'll receive a series of cross-channel communications powered by Marketing Cloud. Experience the possibilities first hand! You'll see emails, ads, mobile messages, recommendations, and more that a customer would see.

About the Author

Jim Tyner has been in the Marketing Automation Space since 2002. His expertise is in database marketing, data mining and cross channel campaign Management. He has worked with many customers in the Financial Services industry ranging from local credit unions to large national organizations such as Bank of America and Edward Jones.